Cognition and Learning
Pupils follow the Ruth Miskin Phonics scheme “read, write inc” which is taught throughout the primary and junior hubs and some Unique pupils who are able to learn conventional phonics. Pupils for whom it is appropriate within the Unique hub will be following phase 1 phonic activities and games through their individual learning plans. Learners with ASC who are beginning to read within the unique classes many be using a whole word reading approach to learning new words and sentences. There may also be individual learners within the primary and junior hubs who follow this scheme if it is appropriate for their individual learning style.
The school greatly encourages shared reading and holds events to encourage parents to read with their children. For example our bedtime story event for primary classes was a huge success with parents, pupils and staff alike in pyjamas sharing stories together! We also have a visiting library van as well as our own school library where pupils can enjoy and share books personally and with others.
As pupils develop mark making becomes more purposeful and allows pupils a wealth of opportunities to investigate writing for a purpose, developing control in using tools and creating marks such as vertical, horizontal patterns and simple shapes. We promote and encourage pupils in early acquisition of these skills through a dedicated mark making or writing area within each learning environment. Writing and Mark making is also celebrated across the school with teachers encouraged to use pupils own writing and mark making on display where possible. Phonics teaching allows pupils to link their knowledge of phoneme recognition to grapheme creation and this is promoted through an interesting array of mark making and writing opportunities. We were able as a school to take park in the Durrington Locality Early Mark Making project which encouraged early writing skills through the Early Years and Primary Years. This had a significant impact on the provision available for pupils and our contribution as a school was noted as “exemplary”.
Writers who are working within the pre key stage frameworks and above are given many talk for writing and cross curricula writing opportunities through the revised curriculum. This includes discrete writing instruction such as handwriting and learning about forms and features of different writing styles.
At Palatine school is dividing into blocks of study that span all levels across the school and are split into programmes of study in numeracy and shape, space and measure.
At the earliest level of learning there is an emphasis on the experience and emerging awareness of touch, communication, vision, movement, and sensory exploration. Pupils work at reacting, responding, engaging and cooperating in a variety of situations using the senses. They continue into the pre key stage frameworks by beginning to communicate intentionally, participate with less adult support, sustain concentration, explore materials, remember learned responses and respond to options and choices. As skills develop there is a focus on developing pupil’s skills in the number system, calculations, measures, shape and space whilst seeking to use and apply those skills in a wide range of contexts. Pupils further develop these skills in number, shape, space, measures and handling data with added emphasis on the number system, place value, addition and subtraction (both written and mental methods), multiplication and division (including times tables and written methods), fractions, algebra and using and applying these skills. These processes are supported by our calculations policy which is consistently used across the school. Children are encouraged to be independent in solving problems, asking questions and recording their workings.
As a school we use Numicon as a central resource to support mathematical and conceptual understanding. Since investing in this key resource we have seen a considerable increase in the achievement of progress of pupils within mathematics demonstrating its effectiveness in supporting the teaching and learning in this area. In addition in our junior classes we have begun a Maths Mastery approach to support pupil’s depth of understanding.
In recent years Palatine has focussed heavily on promoting the access to and use of technology to promote teaching and learning across the curriculum as well as delivering the discrete computing curriculum. Pupils now have access to a range of technology that supports learners at all ends of the access spectrum.
IPads – Each class has an IPad which is used to support the curriculum. Some pupils also have their own individual IPADs which enable them to be able to communicate with more efficiency during their school day using Pro Lo Quo Software.
Our Sensory room which is fitted with kinects hardware and our Immersive Room allows pupils to activate and engage with sensory equipment through kinaesthetic control.
Pupils have access to a newly refurbished ICT suite that includes a clever touch screen and pupil friendly computers. This is used with more frequency by our Junior Learners who use this space to complement their core teaching and learning as well as the delivery of their discrete computing curriculum. We also have clevertouch screens in all of our classrooms.
Eye Gaze technology allows pupils who are unable to access ICT through physical movement to be able to interact with software through the movement of their eyes. This particular supports our learners with PMLD and is significant in allowing some pupils independence in their communication and computing skills.
The school Nintendo Wii allows pupils ways of interacting in a physical kinaesthic way with software programmes that encourage gross motor skills, hand eye coordination and communication/ interaction skills.
Look out for our newly refurbished ICT suite coming soon.
Pupils develop their imagination through role play, small world play and sensory stories. Classrooms have imaginative role play areas for the children to create their own stories and narratives linked to topics that they have been learning about.
Children explore different materials, tools and equipment through cooking and art and design activities to create different effects. They make, design and plan their own creations and make changes and improvements to them.
Children explore musical instruments and music from around the world linked to countries, festivals and celebrations. They explore how to make their own music by following patterns, copying beats and experimenting with sound producing equipment.
Children are encouraged to learn about different artists and musicians to recreate their own versions of signature work.
Learning in ‘The World’ curriculum consists of Science, History, Geography and People and Communities.
In their Scientific learning children learn through exploration and exciting science experiments. They are encouraged to make their own predictions and to plan what they want to do. Through these experiments pupils get to explore and find out how and why things happen. Pupils also learn about different materials and their properties as well as some functions of the human body.
In their Historic learning pupils learn about different periods in time, themselves and their families. They compare objects such as the toys that children used to play with in the past with their toys today. Pupils explore different eras and how things have changed, looking at the effects that these changes have had on different groups of people. Pupils learn about key historical figures and the effect that these people have had on their world.
In their Geographical learning pupils learn about different places within their local area and around the world. This includes climates and looking at things that are hot and cold as well as animal habitats. Pupils will learn how to use maps to find things and about different geographical locations markers and features.
In their learning about People and Communities children will experience different cultures, celebrations and religions. They will look at why people believe in different things and how we can celebrate and respect other people, living happily together in our community and the wider world.
At Palatine Primary we offer on-site forest school activities with occasional off site visits to a woodland environment. This enables our pupils to feel safe and supported whilst developing the forest school skills through activities and experiences. Pupils develop a love and understanding of the outdoor environment, expand their confidence, self-esteem and social skills and learn to self-assess for risk and behaviour management. All of these are achieved by small tasks and planned activities which can be challenging but are always safe and controlled. Forest School is encouraging and inspiring, it grows confidence, imaginative, academic, physical and spiritual development. It gives self-worth and independence to all who take part. All pupils in the school have access to Forest school within small groups within a block. Groups will do regular sessions so that a progression of skills can be achieved. Each new task, tool or skill will be introduced at a level and time tailored to the child.